Early Wednesday morning, Facebook announced its latest move in the ultimate chess game that is attracting advertisers to its platform. Facebook, quite simply, gave the ad world what they have (apparently) been asking for: the ability to segment based on connection type.
The newest feature to the site is more stimulating to mobile advertising growth than it sounds. The option—that will enable marketers to target certain types of smartphone network connections—is really a lifeline to high-growth, emerging markets.
These developing countries are a hotbed of activity and opportunity for marketers, but they also come with an inherent bottleneck that Facebook explains in the announcement:
“People in high-growth countries around the world are coming online at a staggering rate, and a majority are accessing the Internet via mobile networks…The flip side of this rapid change is that network speeds in high-growth countries can vary and infrastructure is constantly changing. This fragmented environment makes it difficult for businesses to reach people with valuable experiences on their mobile devices.”
Targeting by mobile network type—2G, 3G or 4G—effectively brings these emerging mobile markets up to speed by making speed less of a differentiator.
Despite the trial period that will likely follow this news, Facebook is hopeful that the impact of this ad offering will not be limited to targeting. Everyone—Facebook included—can speculate about the ripple effect that this capability could have across entire marketing strategies.
A Foundation for Smarter Creative
With this feature at their fingertips, advertisers can choose creative that will run smoothly on the given device AND connection speed. Facebook provides a scenario where this option becomes a solution:
“Optimizing the creative – for instance, targeting a video campaign to people with high-speed connections, and swapping in an image or link ad for people with slower connections – means ads can perform more efficiently for the people seeing them.”
This new mobile targeting option on Facebook is like a modern pencil for advertisers—constantly being sharpened for more precise messaging to the most relevant audiences.
With yet another technology being added to the advertiser’s repertoire, and the new definition of global reach that it writes, the industry cardinal rule of targeting the right people with the right message also needs to be rewritten. Facebook is certainly making an argument for an edit, or at least an asterisk.